kingfu.co.uk

Bullshit & Ignorance

March 30, 2011

It’s not just me, right?

Whenever I play games from the Fallout series, I get the urge to hoard the caps from beer bottles and things…I might need them come the apocalypse after all!

It’s not just me, right..?

March 7, 2011

DVD and Blu-Ray

When the price of DVD started to drop, I thought nothing of replacing my VHS movie collection with DVDs. The experience of watching a movie on DVD compared to VHS was a pretty huge leap for both sound and picture quality. The experience improved in such a way that having watched movies on DVD I found it hard to go back to VHS.

Blu-ray though. Hrm. I have a PS3 which I bought a couple of years ago primarily for the ability to watch films on it on blu-ray. It was, I felt a worthy accompaniment to my purchase at the time of my 42″ Panasonic plasma screen with its fancy HDMI inputs, and my DTS amplifier with its fancy digital audio connections.

I’m rather underwhelmed by the whole HD revolution though. I mean, don’t get me wrong – High definition visuals and audio are stunning, they really are but relative to an upscaled DVD? eh…

Play them side-by-side and sure you’ll see the difference. Play them separately and you’ll know the image is that much crisper; however there really isn’t that same experience altering difference that came with the switch from VHS to DVD. Hardly surprising I suppose, given that one was a switch from analogue to digital and the other is, let’s face it, a refinement of what we already have.

I’m not saying don’t get a blu-ray player. They also play DVDs and if you have a decent TV and sound system, then you’ll probably enjoy the clarity of images and sound and so on. The players are also rapidly dropping in price, no bad thing. For now at least though, the cost of the discs themselves are substantially more than DVDs.

While I was still in England, I’d often pop into HMV or wherever at the weekend and browse around the film section. Yes, I know it’s much cheaper to buy shit like that on t’internet, but sometimes I jut felt like watching something new then and there. Being able to browse around and take something home with me that I could watch that same day. Anyway…frequently I’d pick something out and stand with the DVD in one hand and the blu-ray in the other, trying to decide if I wanted to spend an extra ten quid on the blu-ray version. Nine times out of ten the answer was no. Unless the film is all sparkling special effects and so on, I really didn’t see the point.

I don’t think it’ll ever replace DVD as a format unless manufacturers stop selling DVDs. Unless they come down in price so they cost the same as DVDs I think there will always be that weighing up moment.

Not like it’s a world changing issue or anything like that, just one that crossed my mind!

March 6, 2011

DVD storage

As someone who has a tendency to buy a fuck of a lot of DVDs, I’ve often found it something of a struggle to store the bastard things. Commercial storage units are usually a) small b) expensive c) both. A DVD storage unit that costs 60 quid (Or the dollar equivalent these days!) that holds 300 DVDs sounds great until you realise you’ll need three or four of them.

Before I moved to the US I bought a couple of shelving units from a guy who used to run a DVD rental place. They were kinda ugly and massive – but cheap. I paid about £20 for the pair and they held around 700 discs each. When it came to moving to the States however I decided against shipping them with the rest of my stuff. Like I said, they were fucking massive and I was paying for shipping by volume.

So I decided to build my own. I’ve never really been what you might call a DIY enthusiast so I just kinda made it up as I went along. The end result was this:

dvd shelves

I know, awesome right?

I’ll now attempt to give instructions of some kind in case anyone feels like trying to build their own. You will need:

  • 4 8″x1″x6′ boards
  • 16 1/2″x48″ dowels
  • A drill with a 1/2″ spade bit
  • Wood screws (I used #8 x 1-1/2″ but you can probably use other shit, fucked if I know, like I said I was making it up as I went along.)
  • A screwdriver
  • A wood saw
  • A tapemeasure
  • A pencil or pen
  • A bit of paper or cardboard
  • Stickyback plastic, some empty washing up liquid bottles and a the cardboard tubes from a toilet roll.
  • Okay you don’t need any of the previous item, I just got caught up in that whole Blue Peter vibe.

Right, so now we have a big fuck off pile of stuff. This is how I did it, which may be cackhanded and have proper DIY types being all ‘WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING YOU TWAT!?” But bollocks to you, it worked so I figure I was doing it mostly right. Or got very lucky.

Step One

This is turning out to be a very professionally written thingamewhatsit I’m sure you’ll agree. Look at me using headers and stuff for the steps. Wait, I should be explaining what to do not wazzing on about how good my guide is, shouldn’t I. Moving swiftly on.

Get your tape measure and one of your big planky-things. The 8x1x6 things. Yeah those. Use your tape measure to mark the board at 9 inch intervals. That means every 9 inches. Why? Because I told you to, that’s why.

Step Two

Get your bit of paper or card, which needs to be at least 9 inches tall and 8 inches wide – probably should have mentioned that earlier but it’s not like I’m getting paid for this so you can’t expect me to care. Anyway; get that bit of card and cut it so that it fits exactly into one of the spaces you’ve just marked out on the board. Then, get a DVD case and position it so that it fits on the card, tilted back slightly. Use your spade bit (IN YOUR HAND NOT IN THE FUCKING DRILL. Just saying) to mark a circle under the front edge of the DVD, and another one at the back edge, near the top. I should probably do a diagram here because I’ve already done this and even I’m not sure what the fuck I’m talking about.

badly drawn diagram

It’s not to scale or anything, just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Okay? Okay.

Use the spade bit, or a knife or scissors or whatever to make the holes go all the way through (you may want to get an adult to help you with this if you’re a child or stupid or whatever) This will become a template.

Step…whatever the fuck I’m up to

Use the template to mark where the holes for the dowels will need to go on the board you marked the lines on. At this point, I put three of my boards together and used the spade bit to drill through all three at once. This means getting them all lined up and making sure they don’t move around too much and stuff. You can do it that way, or you can do them one at a time or however you like really. Again, using a power drill here so if you’re prone to self harm, or a child or whatever, probably best to get someone who’s less of a fuckwit to help. Also don’t do it on your floor, or whatever because you’ll make big holes in it. This should be common sense but I’m well aware that there are a huge number of people in the world who buy Apple products, which is a good indication that common sense is lacking in the world thus I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry. Really? An ipad? okay back on track..

The step after the one before

Get your saw. Cut your remaining 8x1x6 in half. Exactly in half, so measure it, with a tape measure or something. The two halves of the cut board will be the top and the bottom of the shelves. They go on top, and on the bottom…use screws and a screwdriver of some kind to attach them to the larger boards with the holes in, making sure that the holes in the three uprights are lined up. There should be one on each side and one in the middle. Look at the picture of the completed shelves if you hit your head hard, or are too drunk to know what I mean or whatever (if you’re really drunk you probably shouldn’t be doing this, since it involves pointy things and power tools. Just saying).

At this point I also attached another piece of wood across the back about half way up to give the frame more support. I don’t think it actually needs it once the dowels are in place but it might, so you might want to get another bit of wood and do it, or you might not, I don’t care either way since it’s not me it’s going to fall on if it’s not sturdy enough.

The next bit

Thread your dowels through the holes. All the way through. They’ll poke out the end. That’s because they’re longer than your shelves are wide, don’t panic or anything that was expected. Just cut them off at whatever length you want. You could probably do that before you thread them through but measure it if you’re going to because you’ll feel a right twat if you cut them first then realise your cackhanded carpentry has left you with the shelves slightly wider at the top than the bottom or something and you’ve cut the dowels too short.

That’s about it. Now you can put it wherever you want, and slap your DVDs on it. You could use a wall strap of some kind if you’re worried about it falling over, but it seems pretty secure to me once its full. Finished it should hold roughly 58 DVDs per shelf. With 8 shelves, that’s 468 DVDs on the unit total.

Price for materials will no doubt vary from place to place, but I got mine for a little under 40 USD, and the build took about an hour, maybe a little less.